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Building Safety Act 2022 – Impending deadline for the registration of high risk buildings

This article focuses on the impending registration deadline of 30 September 2023 for High Risk Buildings (“HRB”) under rigorous provisions of the new Building Safety Act 2022 (“BSA 2022”). This registration is a hard deadline with no leeway.

On 23 May 2023, the Health and Safety Executive confirmed that approximately 750 applications had begun since the registration process opened. Nonetheless, it is projected that up to 12,500 buildings in England meet the criteria for a HRB and therefore need to be registered before the deadline.

What is a High Risk Building? 

Part 4 of the BSA 2022 defines a HRB as a building in England which is:

  1. either at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys (this excludes basements and independent sections complying with certain requirements), and 
  2. contains at least two residential units (a residential unit is defined as a dwelling or any other unit of living accommodation).

If the criteria are met, the HRB must be registered before the deadline.

The BSA 2022 excludes certain buildings from registration. These include:

  • Hotels,
  • Care homes,
  • Hospitals, and
  • Prisons.

Mixed use buildings are included, meaning that any building with part residential units is caught by the provisions.

Further government published guidance can be found here.

Who is responsible for registration? 

The Accountable Person (“AP”), specifically the person or organisation who owns or has responsibility for the HRB, will have the duty to register. Where there is more than one AP, registration duties fall on the Principal Accountable Person (“PAP”) the individual or body that has legal obligations to repair the structure and exterior of the HRB.

How to Register

Registration is via an online portal which can be found here. There is a fee of £251 for registration.

Information to be provided on/after registration

The application requests information about the HRB’s structure and fire safety protocols including:

  • the identity of the AP/PAP and contact details,
  • the address of the HRB,
  • the number of floors at or above ground level and the HRB’s height in metres,
  • the number of residential units, and
  • the year the HRB was originally built. For those HRBs completed in 2023 or later, it is a requirement to include the name of the building control body that issued the completion certificate or final notice and, the certificate or notice number.

“Key building information” must also be submitted to a Building Safety Regulator (“BSR”) within 28 days of registration. The BSR is an independent body set-up by the BSA 2022 and part of the Health and Safety Executive. Key Building information to be submitted includes:

  • evacuation strategies, including fire and smoke control equipment,
  • fire doors and staircases,
  • energy supplies,
  • material type used for exterior walls and structure and roof, and
  • any building work since the HRB was originally built.

Key Implications 

Failure to register by the stipulated deadline is a criminal offence by the PAP/AP which could result in penalties and other legal implications, emphasising that the Government regards this as a significant issue.

Property owners should now be:

  • identifying the AP and/or PAP,
  • identifying buildings which may constitute a HRB,
  • gathering the necessary information, and
  • ensuring registration within the deadline.